Author Paul Tremewan Paints a Portrait of a War Hero in Compelling Nonfiction

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A true story of courage and hope unfolds against the striking backdrop of the civil war in “As near Hell As I ever expect to be…”

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Years ago, author Paul Tremewan purchased a collection of letters and documents that dated back to the American Civil War era. He was unaware that the correspondence, written by a certain Lt. John V. Patterson of Company K, would unlock a journey back into a remarkable episode in history. Tremewan shares the life and struggles of a man caught up in the daily grind and peril of war in “As near Hell As I ever expect to be…”

Who was John V. Patterson? What happened to him and his family? Did he survive the war? How did the letters end up in Flint, Michigan? These questions formed the cornerstones upon which Tremewan’s mission began; a mission that took him to battlefields, graveyards, museums, county seats, libraries and old bookstores.

In September 1861, 27-year old John V. Patterson left his young wife, Victoria, and their two babies in their farm to join Lincoln’s call to save the Union. In November, Victoria Patterson received a message with the despondent phrase “As near Hell As I ever expect to be…” written in the inside address. Over the next four years, an exchange of letters revealed a young soldier and husband gripped by sickness and imprisonment and his attempts to escape. Following each letter, Tremewan includes notes which elaborate the historical context of the correspondence. This account is not a comprehensive history of the period nor is it a deep analysis of the Civil War; it is a series of snapshots that paint a striking picture of the lives embroiled in battle and irrevocably affected by war.

A story of hope and survival, “As near Hell As I ever expect to be…” distills, through the life of John V. Patterson, courage under fire. Suffused with the zeitgeist of the times, his story is one that needs to be heard and a truth that begs to be revealed. For more information on this book, interested parties may log on to

About the Author
Born and raised in Flint, Michigan, Paul Tremewan holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan, an M.A. from Eastern Michigan University, and post-masters work at Wayne State University. He is a veteran of 39 years of classroom experience, grades seven through twelve and was an adjunct lecturer at both Ferris State University and Eastern Michigan University. An avid student of American Civil War and reenactor, the writer has scoured battlefields, cemeteries, archives and historical sites across the country. Once he read the collection of letters, his passion for Civil War history compelled him to tell the rest of the story.

As near Hell As I ever expect to be… * by Paul Tremewan
The Civil War letters of Lieutenant John V. Patterson Of the 21st Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 248 pages; 978-1-4628-7392-0
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 248 pages; 978-1-4628-7393-7
eBook; $9.99; 978-1-4628-7394-4

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